Genesis 16:1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.

Introductory Thought

Most problems have multiple solutions, yet some of the solutions yield newer and greater problems. Abram and Sarai knew the Lord wanted to give them a son. All they needed to do was to trust God to accomplish what He had promised. The problem—Sarai bare Abram no children. Instead of seeking the Lord for the proper solution to the problem, Sarai conceived what she believed to be a good plan. She wanted her maid Hagar to bare a son for them. This solution was indeed a solution to the problem, but it was not God’s solution. Hagar had a son, but this son turned out to be a thorn in the flesh of Abram and Sarai’s son Isaac. The problems resulting from their solution have lingered for millennia and continue to this day.

Devotional thoughts

• (For children): When Saul failed to wait for Samuel to make a sacrifice before going to battle, he brought problems on his own household (1 Samuel 13:8-14; 1 Samuel 31:1-2, 6).

• (For everyone): What problems did Abram and Sarai have before introducing Hagar into their solution? What new problems arose because of their decision to have a son through Hagar?

• What should Abram and Sarai have done in order to find a proper solution? What would likely have been the solution given by the Lord? Would God’s solution have created these new problems?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to show you new problems caused by your self-conceived solutions.

• Ask the Lord to show you His solutions to your problems.